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Military healthcare providers donate $5000 to NMCRS

28 Sep 2006 | Pfc. M. Daniel Sanchez

A representative from Triwest Healthcare Alliance donated a check worth $5,000 to the station Navy Marine Corps Relief Society on Sept. 28 at the station NMCRS office.

Lynda Salmond, service area director for Triwest Health Care Alliance, arrived on station to meet with Lora O’Hara, NMCRS director, and give her the substantial donation in person.

The NMCRS is always giving back to the service members and taking care of them when they are in need, so it only makes sense to give the money to them, said Salmond.

This is Triwest’s way to ensure service members are getting the help they need and deserve, she said.

Salmond said it made her feel good to know that the money would be put to good use and felt the money was in the best hands possible.

“It is going to where it needs to be -- to the most deserving people I can think of,” said Salmond.

This was a very generous donation and the society wants Triwest to know thatit will be a good steward of this money and make sure it helps as many people as possible, said Bre McGeachy, NMCRS chairman of volunteers.

Triwest, also known as Tricare Region West, is one of three regions of the military’s healthcare system. It takes care of service members from the Midwest to West Coast, excluding the majority of Texas.

Triwest has a history of donating to military base programs designed to help military members, said Salmond. It has also donated to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton’s Wounded Warrior Clinic and the Marine Corps’ Christmas program, Toys for Tots.

The company tries to do whatever it can to help service members and show the appreciation its employees have for serving the country, said Salmond.

The relief society is a non-profit organization that is sponsored by the Department of the Navy.

“The society works as the so-called ‘middle man,’ between Marines and sailors who donate money and the service members in need of temporary financial help,” said O’Hara.

However, it is important for service members to realize the society assists with needs, she said. It is important to be able to analyze a service member’s situation and find if there is a need and not just a want.

For example, a service member having to take emergency leave because of an ill family member is a need, but taking annual leave for vacations is a want.

The process is dealt with on a case by case basis, using criteria NMCRS has created to best determine what kind of help is required. However, there are steps that can be taken to speed the process along. The first is to make an appointment with a volunteer caseworker, who will provide budget counseling for the service member.

“A caseworker can sit down with a client and discuss a common- sense budget and help the client come up with a plan to make ends meet each month,” said O’Hara. “A budget can be an eyeopening experience and can help a person get and stay on track with their finances.”

No matter what the request, service members should take advantage of the services NMCRS offers them. NMCRS can provide interest- free loans and in some cases, grants to help service members get through their difficult times.

In August alone, NMCRS helped 42 people with more than $36,000 of financial help.

“Essentially, this donation (will) help us widen the scope of services to Marines, sailors and their families,” said O’Hara.

“Thank you, Triwest, for thinking of our Marines, sailors and their family members,” said O’Hara. “And remember us next year!”

Triwest will also donate checks of the same amount to the NMCRS of Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

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